I’ve spent the last hour walking faster than I generally run. I’m incredibly angry. It’s been suggested to me a few times recently that I should stop writing, that maybe by indulging in the blog I’m allowing myself to spend too much time in my head, and that’s making things worse. I’ve been thinking about this the entire time I was walking, and I’m starting to think that maybe these people are right.

I started the blog over two years ago now, purely as a therapeutic exercise. For a long time I had very few readers, and I was largely anonymous. But then the more that people began to read, the harder it became to stay anonymous. Suddenly, as well as being therapeutic, I was on a crusade – show the reality of living with mental illness, warts and all. Not the ‘I did xyz and now I’m better and more successful than ever before’ version that’s so often portrayed in the media, but my own version. I began to get feedback, the vast majority of it extremely positive and supportive with the occasional shitty troll comment thrown in for balance. I didn’t want to admit it to myself, but that felt really, really good – that people could identify with what I’d written, what I’d experienced. It became part of my identity. I wasn’t just Fiona the mam, or the wife, or the lowly admin, but Fiona the blogger, Fiona that people actually wanted to listen to. That’s been intoxicating. For the first time, I have something that is all of my own making, and nothing to do with anyone else.

But I wonder now if perhaps it has gone too far. Perhaps my well meaning advisers are right. Has it moved from being part of my identity, to all of it? If I take the blog away, if I take borderline away, what’s left? There was part of me that was actually beginning to believe I could make a difference, that I was special in some way. But I’m not. All I’m doing is airing my dirty laundry and waiting for people to come and pat me on the back and make me feel better about it. If I’m being completely honest, I’m also secretly hoping that maybe, just maybe, Therapist is occasionally reading and will decide to contact me off the back of something I’ve written. Is this all a massively self-indulgent naval gazing exercise? These are questions that only I can answer, and I don’t want anyone to come back and contradict me – that is 110% not why I’m writing this.

I think it’s a headsup. I’ve toyed with this before, but maybe it’s time for my blogging career to come to an end. There are countless wonderful blogs out there on exactly the same subject, any one of them would be worth reading. For those of you with bpd, I cannot recommend Life in a Bind highly enough, she’s wonderful. Psych Central list some of the best depression blogs out there. There’s no shortage of reading material.

I may do my standard 180 tomorrow. I may not. But seeing as therapy isn’t an option, I’m going to try the head in sand route. It might just work. It might just turn out that there’s nothing wrong with me at all, and that if I just stop thinking, everything will be absolutely fine.

 

This article has 9 Comments

  1. Don’t stop blogging! Maybe just take a break for a bit if you need to. DBT will help. I love your blog. You are accomplishing a lot with it. some people just might not be able to see it. Wait a bit before stopping writing this blog. (Hugs) <3

  2. I feel so angry for you when I read your posts. It is outrageous in my opinion that you have no psychotherapeutic support, and no guarantee of DBT at the next intake in March. I don’t understand why in the absence of group skills training they can’t at least offer you individual training in crisis distress tolerance skills. Well I do, I suspect it’s a resources issue. I could say a lot more but the main thing I wanted to convey is that in my opinion you have been left to suffer unnecessary distress due to this delay in *essential* treatment. I wish you well in hanging in until March in what is q grossly unfair, unacceptable situation.

    1. Thank you. I’ve been incredibly angry too, then moved to not caring, then went to dangerously low and hopeless, and back again, repeatedly. It’s been exhausting, for me and for my family. But I’m still here, March is slowly getting closer, so fingers crossed it will come through for me.
      Also, I agree – resources are stretched beyond the limit.

  3. I just found this, I don’t even remember exactly how, and I read that you are thinking of ending your blogging. And if that is what you need to do for yourself, then stopping is good. I have been struggling with depression, etc for a long time, and knowing that you have put your voice out there makes me feel like maybe I have some worth, too. Like every voice has value, everyone deserves a chance to speak and be heard.

    Do you know why all these people give such positive feedback? It’s not just for you, to put you on a pedestal, but it’s for themselves, too. It gives them an opportunity and an invitation to also speak up, like I am doing right now. It gives people a glimpse that maybe their lives are a little bigger than the swamp they wade through every day. That in the midst of all the pain and darkness, there is even the smallest parcel of hope.

    Imagine a world where there were only a handful of bloggers who were honest, because the rest thought “there are countless wonderful blogs out there.” People don’t want to just read the one, “best” blog, they want to connect with the ones that resonate with them, that mean something to them.

    That you question your current motives doesn’t diminish the value of what you share. It just means you have more of value to share.

    1. Thank you so much Travis, and I’m so sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I decided to keep blogging, I need it, although every week or two I go through a brief period of wanting to shut it down – it’s my go to form of self sabotage these days.
      I’m really glad to hear that what I write can be of some help, and it works both ways – when people let me know they can identify with what I write, that makes me feel better too.
      So thank you!

  4. Hi Fiona,

    This is my first time reading your blog but I understand where you’re coming from. On the one hand writing can be extremely therapeutic, but on the other hand what we focus our thoughts (and consequently our emotions) on has a big part in determining our experience of life.

    Determining what is the right course for you with this isn’t a straightforward thing.

    Do you mind if I ask why therapy isn’t an option?

    1. Hi David,
      Apologies for the delay in getting back to you, it’s been a rough few months. Therapy isn’t an option at the moment as I’m waiting to start dbt. I had been with my Therapist for 6 years but had become very dependent on her and we had reached the point where that attachment was actually making things worse. She had hoped that I could start working with someone else, but my consultant wanted me to have a therapy break before starting dbt. I can see the sense in it, kind of, but it’s been incredibly difficult to manage the last few months.
      As for the blog? I need it. I’ll keep writing!

  5. Just catching up so you may have gone full circle by now, but for the record, you’ve had this thought before, more than once, in fact you shut the whole blog time at least once, before changing your mind.

    So, for my two pence worth, if writing stuff down helps then it helps so do it. If it isn’t helping or you’re not feeling like it that day then don’t. Try and forget about us readers – do it when it’s right for you. (and I don’t think any regular readers would want to go on Bitchfaces list of reason’s you’re crap (because you’re letting us down), the thing about the blog is that people identify with the warts and all bit, it helps them when they’re all warty to know they’re not alone, if it was all a success story then you’d have an uplifting autobiography on your hands, not a blog, but I digress)

    I don’t get the impression that blogging puts you in your head too much and makes you worse. Honestly, sounds like Bitch face has been whispering in people’s ears. You have BPD and all that that entails, it makes you ill, really ill sometimes, it is not made up, it is not your fault, and it will not go away or get better if you stop thinking about it. In fact, if it wasn’t for all the effort and work that you have done and continue to do looking after yourself (running, yoga, painting) you wouldn’t be coping at all.

    But then what do I know, I’ve never met you. If hubby or your GP think you should stop blogging I’d consider it. If it’s anyone else, think carefully about how well they know you – possibly they are just well meaningly clutching at straws thinking of a “fix” because they find it so hard to see you in pain and want to give you a solution.

    1. You were so right. Stopping the blog is my number one knee jerk reaction to stress/perceived criticism these days, where before it would have been stopping with therapist (and look how that one has panned out……) Hubby very much thinks I need to keep writing, as long as I’m doing it for me. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve changed my mind on that since this post, and likely will again, a lot……..but for now, or for today at least, I’m going to keep writing.

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